Between your website, local newspaper, direct mail, radio ads, billboard, social media, and word of mouth, it's difficult to calculate exactly how your customers are finding you and what ultimately convinced them to make a purchase. What was once an easy task of calculating the ROI for an individual ad is now impossible because of so many different ways a customer can engage with you online.
After many years of talking and teaching about it, I'm finally starting to see retail jewelers embracing the reality of catalog and ecommerce websites. The reality I'm referring to is the tedious process of photographing your inventory, maintaining a website, and handling all aspects of order fulfillment.
Within the jewelry industry, there are several ways to mimic an ecommerce website without actually setting it up or managing it yourself. Many large man... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Earlier this year, I explained why Instagram should be your primary marketing channel and how to use photography and hashtags to build a following. If you're struggling with Facebook marketing for your business, then you should really go back and look at that previous post of mine.
Although I explained Instagram photography, I did intentionally exclude details about Instagram Storie... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Twenty-five years ago, no one understood how the internet would trigger an evolutionary change in how almost every business in the world operates. Today, most businesses have some type of website to represent themselves online, and even the companies without websites have some type of online presence in business directories like Yelp and Google Maps.
It seems like every business industry has figured out how to use the internet to improve the efficiency of their business and their c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Way back on April 10, 2017, Facebook announced that they'd be cleaning up the News Feed to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time.
Their goal was to cut back on the amount of spammy content that is published by Pages that deliberately try to game the Facebook algorithm. Their algorithm measures the popularity of a post by the number of likes, comments, and shares it gets an... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your online reputation is now part of your marketing. The results that people see in search help formulate the first impression that someone has of your business and whether or not they will purchase from you.
Managing your online reputation through reviews that appear on Facebook, Google Reviews, and Yelp is vital for your future business health. Savvy consumers are referring to what other people say in these online reviews and other consumer generated co... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The digital screen on my bathroom scale has been on the fritz more and more every day, and I finally decided to do something about it today. I've owned different wearable devices over the past 7 years to monitor my health and daily activity, but I didn't yet have a smart bathroom scale to monitor my BMI or other health factors. Today was the day I would finally get one.
I contemplated buying one off Amazon.com but decided that I'd rather compare models ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
What started as email spam years ago has turned into an ever-evolving monster of internet spam that permeates our emails, Google search results, automated telephone sales calls, and nonsense in our social media feeds. No matter how hard we try, marketing companies find new ways to put their message in front of us whenever we don't want it. This type of marketing is called interruption marketing, and it really has become an annoying interruption in everyday life as well.
At the JA NY show on Monday July 24, 2017, it was my honor to sit on the panel discussion about social media etiquette. The panel was moderated by Ashley Davis, Associate Editor, National Jeweler. The other three panelists I sat with, were Levi Higgs, Archives and Social Media Manager with David Webb, Joy Butler, Transactional busine... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I recently came across a seminar titled "How to Promote Your Online Store In A Cost-Effective Manner" and thought it was an extremely misleading headline. Whenever business owners ask me about cost effective online advertising, they usually mean "least expensive" rather than asking me how to achieve the best ROI with their online ads.
I've also found that many business owners believe that online marketing is simple, and that anyone can do it. Preying upon this belief, there are ad a... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I was in New York City over the Independence Day weekend helping someone troubleshoot a sound and mixing board problem for a friend of mine. They recently bought a new sound board that was causing a hum when connected to the older equipment.
This little challenge was a throwback to my pre-2003 days when I volunteered as a sound and lighting engineer for community theatre productions. I knew exactly what the problem was and what was needed to solve it. I needed something called a "ground loop isolator," ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
On June 23, 2017, the Jewelers' Security Alliance issued a special alert outlining a widespread scam that's been recently targeted at the jewelry industry. In the security alert, which you can read here, the JSA explains that scammers are profiling retailers and manufacturers in order to pull off the reported telephone scams.
Earlier this month, I wrote a Nugget about embracing change in your business. In that post, I also explained a little about WIX, Weebly, Squarespace, and Shopify and how they prey upon businesses that don't take the time to research and plan out their e-commerce strategy.
I recently had a few meetings with a French tourism company that needed help figuring out how to build traffic to their website. Their website wasn't anything special; honestly, it was just another directory website. Directory websites are a very common business model that range from large sites like CitySearch.com to local Chamber of Commerce websites. Niche focused directory websites can usually better serve their community than the larger sites.
No one ever wants to write a business plan for their new business or new business venture. Most people feel that a business plan is especially needed when you want to raise startup capital, which while true, a business plan helps you create focus.
Many business owners have great ideas that they feel they can accomplish without writing the ideas down on paper. I started my first business in 1994 with just vague ideas and didn't write my first plan until 2 years later after suffering several slow starts.
Every time internet technology changes, there is a chance that consumer expectations will change along with it. I often say that expectations change every time someone upgrades their smartphone. Unlike a desktop computer that we hold on to for 4 or 5 years, we each have the option to upgrade our smartphones at least every 24 months. The recent smartphone upgrade I did gave me faster processing speed, which means my apps, camera, and video editing run faster, but my internet speed is still controlled by my carrier. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's the hope of every business that they will build a website that helps make them a lot of money, but few websites ever achieve that goal. Turning a website into a money making machine won't happen overnight, and it won't magically happen without a lot of help from employees and the business owner.
Most small businesses don't know how to update their websites once they are launched; indeed, many will continually pay for website updates even though they can edit the website on ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I have met and helped many different entrepreneurs during my time as a volunteer business coach for my local chapter of SCORE, a division of the U.S. Gov. S.B.A. While I've helped them make their businesses better, I've also learned that most entrepreneurs of all ages share several similar personality characteristics and daily practices.
Life of an entrepreneur
Most entrepreneurs start out small and quickly learn all the jobs needed to make their business run. If you're a small business owner, then you are probably the best s... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Many small businesses, not just retail jewelers, are caught in a tight monthly financial cycle. Those businesses teeter on financial ruin because the only thing needed to send them over the edge is a bad week of sales, unexpected loss of the star salesperson, tax penalties, medical bills, or the wrong choices of inventory. Each of these could be an unrecoverable setback.
For several years and through a lot of tough competition, Facebook has managed to maintain its status as the most popular social media network, although there seems to be an evolutionary shift of people away from Facebook and on to other networks like Instagram and Snapchat. Some organizations, groups, and communities are using Facebook's Group feature to create a community messaging board, while other organizations have migrated to networks like Telegram. For the moment, Facebook is still the network to use, but Instagram is growing quick... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your website is the cornerstone of all your online marketing; it's what people find when they search for a local business type or a specific product by name or by model number. People go to Google with an instigated need for an immediate purchase, when they need a specific service, or when they need to start research on a longer term decision making process. Those with immediate needs will take action based on what they see on your website or your social accounts. Those looking for an immediate purchase will look for an onlin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Because the online paid advertising playing field changes monthly, my clients constantly ask for my current recommendation for where to spend their limited marketing budget. Although there are many online advertising possibilities, I prefer that businesses use Google AdWords and Facebook Advertising because the ads can be changed frequently to highlight current offers.
Retail is being redefined every day. Everyone still looks at their bottom line sales, but it doesn't matter anymore if the sales are from foot traffic through the front door or via shipping boxes out the back. While most retail businesses are still struggling to figure out how to bring foot traffic back in the front door, I submit that it's probably easier to learn what it takes to build your ecommerce business and increase the flow of shipped product instead.
Website review and analysis are part of my everyday job. I've been actively analyzing and making suggestions on improving traffic acquisition, user flow, SEO, and usability for several years. I've shared this analysis process and the tips for improvement in my writings for the last few years to provide an insight into how you could do it yourself.
Today, I'll share 6 of the most frequently broken or missing website features that I have seen over and over again, and provide some suggestions for maki... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
MySpace used to be a fun social network. You had complete freedom to change your profile any way you wanted by adding music, changing colors, and customizing your background. Anyone with a working knowledge of HTML could customize the look of their page and turn it into their online bastion of delight. I remember when being on social media was nothing more than a fun competition of making your profile page look better than your friend's profile, then tease each other about it. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It seems like once every year I come across another website using the Hibu service. Their corporate website says they are a leading provider of digital marketing to local businesses across the US, UK, and Spain. They say that they provide one-on-one service to unify digital marketing, website development, and SEO.
It all sounds good to the small business owner who is looking for an all-in-one online solution and doesn't have the time to learn or the money to hire the right people to do it. Hibu has... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this week's website review, I'll show you an example of how Google reads words on your website and how you can see those words for yourself. I'll also show you why you should host your blog within your own website instead of using an outside service, I'll even show you screen shots of how Google views a website when the blog is hosted outside.
It all starts with a Google search for "jewelers flagstaff az." According to these results, there are not many jewelers n Flagstaff:
Google made a significant change in the search results page layout over the last 7 days that removes the powerful advantage that they'd bestowed upon local businesses for about 10 years. Today, I'll dive into the details of those changes.
A Little Background
Google created their original Local Business database in the early 2000s and has morphed it through many permutations with names like Places, Maps, and Local. Today, they call it "Google My Business" or just GMB for short. Having your business... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In last week's Golden Nugget, I presented some interesting information showing the comparison of web page visible content to the hidden HTML code in the background. From that post, you could conclude that your website goal should be to fine tune your code to prevent too much hidden code, a problem that is known as "code bloat."
I'm digging a little deeper into this topic again today because of the emails, phone calls, a... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm taking a different approach in this week's website review. Normally, I look for poorly ranked websites and try to find reasons why they are not ranking well. When I started my search this week, I found a bunch of mediocre websites that were outranked by Yelp and YellowPages. All of the websites needed improvement. Oddly enough, the site I thought needed the most improvement, was outranking all of the others.
Today, I'll explore why that might be happening. First, I searched for "jewelers Healdsburg CA" and saw these resul... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's website review, I went searching for "jewelers spokane wa" and had some trouble deciding on which site to review. There are several jewelers in Spokane to choose from with a wide range of websites from very old looking to very modern. The goal of this website review is to give ideas of how to improve a site and increase its ranking or improve its customer usability.
Pounder's Jewelry was the first website I found that could use improvement. The website address was VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday Flop Fix website review. The goal of this review is to examine the mistakes a random website is making and suggest ways to fix it. I do my best every week to take on the role of a typical internet savvy consumer as I search for a review candidate. I also use the Google Chrome browser set to incognito mode so my previous browsing history does not influence the search results I see.
For today's search, I used the phrase "jewelry stores Elgin, IL" and saw these results:
Online referrals are starting to make an impact on local businesses, but not in the way we all expected them to. A few years ago, the buzz within the online marketing community was that social networks would become a referral engine for people to ask advice through. Facebook even attempted to create a new type of social search engine to capture that referral service. Google also struggled with the idea that the internet would become a big referral engine, and they tried to capture a piece of it through Google+.
In honor of the jewelry shows in Tucson, Arizona this week, I decided to search for a website review candidate in that area. I began my search with the phrase "jewelry stores tucson az" and saw these results on Google:
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review. The goal of this review is to learn from someone else's mistake by randomly choosing and dissecting a website that has problems, and explain potential fixes. Hopefully there is something we can all learn from.
Websites with mistakes usually don't rank very high in Google, so when I search for review candidates I usually look lower in the SERPs, and even deep within the forbidden-nowhere-zone on Google... Page 2.
One of the marketing testing methods I use is to put myself out in the real world, away from my desk, to observe what an ad will look like when encountered out in the wild. Although I do test my digital marketing ads on different devices and browsers when sitting at my desk, it's difficult to get into the same headspace that a consumer would be in then viewing an ad or a website. This is my own interpretation of the proverbial "walk a mile in their shoes."
Time and time again, jewelers tell me they want to come up first in Google search for phrases like "engagement rings" or anything related to bridal jewelry. Those are tough keyword phrases to compete for since large ecommerce jewelry website spend a lot of time, money, and optimization efforts to maintain top ranking. Independent jewelers have a better chance competing in their local markets using the popular phrases that people search for.
Popular local phrases include the words jeweler, jewelry, or jewelry store, followed by either ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
We each have our own set of specializations and talents. Someone in your family is probably better at cooking than all the others, while someone else is a better writer, carpenter, or a musician. The world would be a very boring place if we all had the same level of skill and proficiency in everything.
The Entrepreneurial Journey
At some point, you probably got the idea that you could make your favorite baubles or provide a service better than others you'd seen, and so you launched a business o... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Happy Holidays! There are only a few hours left in the 2016 holiday shopping season as I write this. Those still doing their last minute shopping are probably thinking a little outside the normal box in order to find something good for their loved ones.
For this week's website review, I will work through a search scenario in hope to illustrate how your customers use the internet and why it's so important for you to build out your online identity much further than you might imagine. For many businesses, this is the make-or-brea... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Has the search ranking on your website plateaued or declined over the last 12 months? It might be because you've fallen behind with adding new content and products to your website. Content is any type of written description, story, PDF document, photo, and even a video. The more you add the better your chances are to help increase your organic search results, which can lead to more traffic.
The depth of the content you have on your website doesn't just help with overall ranking, it becomes really ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this issue of the Golden Nugget, I'm on the lookout for a jewelry website that isn't correctly suited to help customers this holiday season. I'll document my first thoughts as I look at the website. The hope is that I can uncover problems and explain solutions so you can learn from the mistakes of others.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I'd like to look for some jewelry gift ideas, perhaps something I could buy locally. For this week I'm pretending to be in South Bend, Indiana, so I searched for "jewelry ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Over the last 6 years, I've subscribed to more jewelry email lists than I can remember. Whenever I do a website review, I look for the newsletter signup and add myself to their list. Most of the time, I never hear from those retail jewelers because they don't follow through with their email list.
Amidon Jewelers, in New Hampshire, is one of the few independent retail jewelers that I know that has consistently sent me emails since I signed up to their list way back in 2012. Years ago, they were sendi... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this week's website review, I'm going back to re-review the first website I ever wrote about way back in April 2013. At the time, I chose Franzetti Jewelers with the website http://www.franzettijewelers.com/. You can read the old review from April 19, 2013 here.
My review process was pretty unsophisticated 3.5 years ago. It took a while for me to realize that I should be ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's website review, I'm revisiting a jeweler in Orlando that I reviewed in July 2014. Back then, I was searching for jewelers near the town of Christmas, in Orange County, Florida. According to my previous review here I had to use Google Maps to locate a nearby jeweler when searching for the phrase "jewelers in Christmas, Orange, Florida." Google certainly has made some advancement in their Google Local systems since then, ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Since April 2013, I've reviewed 190 different websites and made a countless number of suggestions for updating each one. Today, and for the next few weeks, I'm going to revisit a few of those old websites to see what's new and if they've made progress.
If they have made progress, it's not because I told them what to do. The disclaimer at the bottom of all my reviews says that I don't write these to solicit business, and the only way they will find out about the review is if they search for their name online. Fewer than 5 in 190 have ever ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to this week's edition of the #FridayFlopFix website review. This week's destination is Plantation, FL, which is right next to the Everglades wildlife area in Florida. Here are the Google results when I searched for "jewelers in plantation florida:"
In honor of the jewelry shows taking place in Miami this weekend, I've chosen a Miami Beach jeweler for this week's website review. It all started with a Google search for "jewelers miami beach, fl" and these search results:
For this week's website review, I looked for "jewelers San Angelo, TX" in Google using incognito mode. Instead of looking at jewelers on the first page of the SERPs, I jumped to no man's land of search results: the dreaded second page.
My website reviews every week usually start with the random selection of a town, but this week, I didn't find any jewelers when I selected Jurupa Valley, California. If there are jewelers in Jurupa Valley, then they probably don't have a website or a large enough digital footprint for Google to find them.
With the lack of any real local results, Google returned store listings from surrounding towns and a bunch of directory sites, like Yelp. Here's what Google gave me:
This is the Friday website review where I randomly choose a retail jeweler and scrutinize their website for problems. I look for design mistakes, SEO mistakes, functionality mistakes, content mistakes, and even marketing mistakes.
This week I searched for "jewelers Renton, WA" to find a review candidate. Here are the results I saw in Google:
The internet of things (IoT) now connects so much of daily life it's hard to remember what things were like 23 years ago when it was just in its infancy. New internet connected devices are announced every day that will undoubtedly shape our futures of personal life and how we reach customers and conduct business. Although there are plenty of new tech toys announced every week, it's the smartphone which has changed how we manage our daily lives.
Can you learn from someone else's mistakes? That's exactly what I hope you'll get out of this Friday Flop Fix. This week, I'm venturing over to Tupelo, MS in search of a retail jeweler that might be making a mistake with their online presence.
This is the result I saw when searching for "jewelers tupelo ms" in Google:
What's good and what's bad? What works and what doesn't work? This is what I try to reveal every Friday as I work through my Flop Fix website reviews. I always start them with a Google search in a random town around the U.S. in search of an independent retail jeweler that could use a little help while also allowing me to publically explain what can be learned from their mistakes.
This week, I began my search for "jewelers Honesdale, PA" and saw these results:
I find it interesting that, in this world of shopping malls and big box stores, there are still times when people automatically think of a specialty store for a specific need. Local retail jewelers are specialty stores because they focus on a single product category, but at the rate that JBT reports jewelers going out of business, it seems like the small local retail... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the #FridayFlopFix review, I'm venturing over to Pasadena, CA in search of a jewelry store. These are the results I saw when using Google Chrome while in incognito mode. I searched for "jewelry stores pasadena ca."
It's time for the weekly case study of a website that's pretty old and in desperate need of a makeover. I call these weekly posts my Friday Flop Fix review. During these reviews, I look for websites that are implementing search engine optimization strategies poorly, or have poor website designs and I suggest ways to make them better.
This week, I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers Zanesville, OH" and was shown these results:
Welcome to my weekly Flop Fix website review. I dedicate my Friday Golden Nugget posts to reviews of randomly chosen jewelry websites. The review candidates are randomly chosen through a Google Chrome incognito search for jewelers.
This week, I searched Google for "jewelers Christian County, KY" and was given these results:
Welcome to a somewhat unusual Friday review. Every Friday, I usually look for a website that's a bit of a fixer-upper and I suggest how to make it better. This week, as usual, I opened my Google Chrome browser in incognito mode and ran a search for "jewelry stores in Cairo GA."
There are certain search phrases that trigger specific search results formats, and normally when you search for a "jewelers in _____" or "jewelry stores in ____" Google activates the local results version of the SERP, but today it didn't.
Welcome to my weekly website review. Every Friday, I randomly look for a jewelry store website that has a few problems, that I call flops, and then I suggest ways to fix them. These short website reviews are not meant for the store itself but rather you, the reader. My hope is that you will discover something here that you also need to fix on your own site.
This week I used the phrase "jewelers Newport, RI" to search for my review candidate. Instead of choosing a jewelry store from the first page of the Google res... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every Friday, I venture out into the unknown to find a website that needs some help; I call them flops that could use some fixing. My hope is that you, the reader, will be able to learn a thing or two from someone else's mistakes, so that's what I look for.
This week I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers in Chapel Hill NC," and got these results:
Last week, I went shopping for a water proof iPhone case; something that would be good enough to protect the phone while canoeing on a river. After a bit of searching at the local mall, I found a potentially good case made by THULE. Due to its price, the THULE Atmos X5 case was locked in one of those anti-theft store packages that covered most of the important details. Before buying it, I needed to make sure it was really waterproof rather than just splashproof, and to what dep... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Reading the latest website optimization and marketing methods online, and putting them into practice on your own website is a daunting task for most business owners. Many question their own actions and simply don't know where to start. For this reason, every Friday I present these mini case study website reviews. My goal is to find a website that has a few obvious (to me) problems, or flops, and then I suggest first steps fixes to get them on the right track again.
In this week's website review, I'm heading over to Laramie, WY in search of a good jewelry store. My hope, like most savvy internet users today, is that I'll find a good jeweler based on the information they have on their website. If the website I find happens to be a total flop, well, then I'll give some suggestions to fix it.
I write these website reviews every Friday to demonstrate how to apply new SEO techniques, online usability, and content building to pre-existing websites that need help. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is my weekly #FlopFix website review. Each week, I find a random retail jeweler's website and suggest fixes that could make it better. I never know what I'll find when I start these reviews and I do my best to document my first impressions as I look at the site.
This week I'm venturing to Olympia, WA where I'll search Google for "jewelry stores in olympia wa." Here's a screen grab of the returned SERP:
Welcome to my weekly random website review. In these reviews, I search for website candidates that have problems (aka flops) with their website, and I suggest fixes to make them better. This week, I'm taking a drive down to Accomack County, Virginia in search for a jewelry store. Accomack is near the famous Route 13 Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel that I once had the pleasure, and slight fright, to drive over. There are fewer bus... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Searching for a website candidate for this week's Friday Flop Fix was a little challenging. I began my search, as usual, looking for a random website candidate in a random city in the United States. My randomly chosen city this week was Orange, CA. My specific Google search phrase was "jewelers Orange, CA" for which I was given the search results you see below.
I've included my commentary in the screen capture:
This is my weekly website review where I search for a retail jeweler at random through Google and pick apart what they are doing online. I try to uncover the flops that are being made so I can suggest the fixes needed to improve what they are doing.
This week, I started my Google search with the phrase "jewelers Brookline, MA" and quickly found myself heading down a rabbit hole after viewing these results:
Every week, I review the website of a randomly chosen retail jeweler. This week, I searched for "jewelers Ketchikan, AK" to find a review candidate. This type of search always triggers Google local results format, which includes the top three business listings for that area. Google understands that people are usually looking for local businesses whenever a keyword is included along with a town name in a search query. Google then shows results formatted like this:
Your customers and online followers will eventually become familiar with the routine and presentation of your content. Your content, and how you post it online, eventually becomes part of your brand's positioning, which is why planning ahead is so helpful for building that brand identity. The routine is just as important as the visual look because eventually your followers, whether paying customers or just readers, will expect things from you.
Over the last 6 months I've been writing a lot about the importance of associating all of your marketing channels together. Your website is the cornerstone of your marketing because that's where you can fully control the user experience, but social networks, offline ads, and online ads should now tie together to create a road of intriguing discovery for your customers.
While I've been following the ins and outs of exactly how to build that path of discovery, and explained it to you, I've not been following that path myself. Since July 27, 2010 I'v... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's time to take a drink, or maybe 15 drinks! The official jWAG drinking game is to take a drink every time I mention Google Maps. Why? Because the very first Golden Nugget I wrote was about Google Maps and it's been one of the most common topics I've written about since I started writing these Golden Nuggets on July 27, 2010. I've been writing special edition version of the Golden Nugget every 100 since. Today is my 1500th Golden Nugget.... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Last weekend, I received a frantic phone call from a store owner that needed to fire an employee, but the employee was in control of all their Google accounts. The store's Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, and Google My Business accounts were all created by an employee years ago, and the store owner never insisted that those accounts be transferred into her name. It's a sticky situation now that should have been avoided from the beginning.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Every week, usually on Friday, I write a website review. This week, I'm publishing my review a couple days early because I have something special planned for Friday. The goal of my website reviews is to dissect the online efforts for a random local retail jeweler. I don't bother reviewing the websites for chain stores because I want to illustrate how a local jeweler can improve a similar site like their own.
I find my website candidates by searching Google using the Chrome browser set to incognito mode. Incognito mode is good to use whe... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I have a love/hate relationship with the placement of social network icons on a website. Some websites have them in their header and some put them in the footer. In this Golden Nugget, I'll give you my point of view of where and why you should place your social icons.
Are They Important Enough?
Back when MySpace and Friendster were the latest craze, it seemed like everyone was adding large icons for those networks to their website header. Websites without those icons were made to feel like... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this week's #FridayFlopFix website review, I'm heading over to Hawai'i in search for a jeweler who could use some website help. Every Friday, I search for a website that's not quite doing the best they could. I want to point out the flops on their website, and suggest some fixes.
I started my review candidate search with the query "jewelers waimea hi." Waimea is a town on the Big Island of Hawai'i. Instead of choosing from the websites that appeared on the first page of Google's results, I looked throu... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As a coach and a mentor, I'm often asked a variety of unexpected questions. Over the last week, I was working with another client to help them plan for their retirement. Their retirement is many years away, but right now, they needed some help planning their future profits and if they should sell the business or if their children will take it over.
Their children are in their early 20s and haven't committed to working in the store. Both children finished their non-jewelry college educa... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A reader recently wrote in and asked if they should archive their sales notices on their website, or just delete them. There's no easy answer to this question because it all depends on how you made the announcement. Let's explore some of the reasons when and why to archive those notices.
Types of Notices
The question at hand is very general and does not specify if they wanted to archive a web page, a social media post, an email newsletter, or a sales email so I'll cover all three fo... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Stop apologizing for not updating your blog! That's it! Just stop it!
Throughout my entire career writing these Golden Nuggets, I have explained over and over again how important it is to have an active blog on your website. The basic goal of your blog is to provide good information to customers who want to know more about a topic.
The blog on your website is a good place to publish information that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the pages on your site. Most webmasters spend a lot of time tw... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Back when jWAG was formed in 2010, the common mantra touted by many online marketers was that "the money is in the list." The list, at the time, was a reference to the number of people on your email list. Since then, we now have the ability to reach customers through many other list methods, including Facebook retargeting lists, Google AdWords remarketing lists, and even push notifications through custom apps that people download. So many online marketing opportunities exist now tha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review where I take a critical look at a jeweler's website to find important mistakes and suggests ways to fix them. To kick off this week, I'm searching the "jewelry stores Longmont, CO" in Google. Here's a snapshot of the returned Google local listings:
The axiom of search engine optimization is that your website will only rank for words that search engines can find on your website. If you learn nothing else about search engine optimization you must learn that one point. If you have learned that already; good, you don't have to read today, but before you go consider that many people aware of that axiom are still not applying.
When it comes to social media photographs, it's easy to forget that every person has a legal right to prevent you from posting a photo of their face online. Paid photographers and media companies are very aware of your legal rights, and they require people to sign a model release form.
Those release forms grant ownership and permission to use the photos for any purpose, even to sell the photos or use in promotions to sell a product. A quick Google search for "sample mode... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
How can you accurately decide when to post to social media when there are many reports, infographics, and varying online advice on what time of day and how often to post to social networks? So many contradictory reports make it difficult to know what advice is the best advice.
Last week, I reviewed some good ways to correctly implement QR codes in your marketing and in your store. One of the methods I suggested was to create a QR code that would lead people to an online review form. To do that, you'll need the website address for that form, but Google doesn't make it easy to find any more.
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I find a random retail jewelry stores and review their website in hopes that we'll be able to learn something from the process. I call this a "Flop Fix" because I specifically look for websites that are making mistakes, i.e. flops, so I can suggest fixes.
Here's the search results I saw this week when I searched Google for "jewelry stores Elko, NV":
There was a lot of marketing buzz around QR codes when they appeared in the USA in 2009 and 2010. Marketers thought they would be a hot sensation for smartphone users and started slapping them on all their ads. Even though QR codes began to appear everywhere, their usefulness and marketing success rates were small. What marketers didn't realize was that QR codes must be utilitarian, but most were gimmicky. I wrote this Nugget about... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I don't often write about LinkedIn because it's considered a business-to-business social network and my educational focus is helping entrepreneurs connect directly with consumers. That said, today I'm going to share how you could use this network to your advantage.
What is LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a professional social network. The goal of this network is to allow you to maintain your curriculum vitae and connect with those you've worked with throughout your career. You can conn... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Instagram made headlines on March 15, 2016 when it announced that they would change the way their feed works. Since its inception, Instagram was a simple social network that allowed all users to scroll through the most recent photos posted by their friends. Keep scrolling to see the most recent photos. On March 15th, they announced that they will reorganize the feed for what you might care about the most, which is ex... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Your success on social media is related to the amount of time you spend engaging with your customers. I like to think of social media as the online version of a business networking event. Plenty of people attend business networking events with grand notions of meeting new business partners only to get there and stand on the sidelines, or quietly sit at a table without working the room.
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I look for candidate websites that are not ranking very well in Google search results and dissect them to figure out why they are ranking poorly.
This week, I searched for "jewelry stores Florence, SC" to find that poorly ranked site. I found an interesting situation with the store Fisher Jewelers & Silversmiths that I'll investigate today. I first noticed the AGS listing for the store shown here:
For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to a Daily Golden Nugget that's in desperate need of updating, specifically what I wrote about the Jewelry Information Center, otherwise known as the JIC. JIC was created by Jewelers of America as a consumer education service. The jic.org website commonly posted current jewelry trends and was a great inspiration resource ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Social media marketing is quite frustrating. The rules seem to change every time you think you understand the right methods of how and when to share to social media. Most internet marketers will lead you to believe that business success will come if you can get 10,000 or more fans following you on every network, when in reality it takes a bit more than just growing your social fan base.
Somehow those social media fans have to be converted into sales as shown in this diagram:
Within the jewelry industry, I often hear about jewelry designers who take a break and put their business on hold while they reconsider their artistic direction or go back to school for additional training. Although it might seem like a simple idea to put a business on hold, how you present yourself online during your hiatus could have positive or negative ramifications on your future livelihood.
Social media is required for business--all businesses. It ties all your other advertising together: every ad you place in your local community, whether it's on TV, radio, on billboards, in all of your direct mail, for newspaper ads, or everything else you do on other social networks. Social media ties all your marketing together in such a way to support your customer life cycle.
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Every week, I scrutinize the website of a random retail jeweler and make recommendations for how to improve the site. I seek out bad websites for these unsolicited reviews so you, the reader, can learn how to identify and improve upon your own websites.
I'm changing up my approach this week. Normally I choose a review candidate from the first few that appear in the Google search results; this week I'm digging into the second page of the searc... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The meta descriptions are the approximately 150 character descriptions you see in the search engine results pages. What you put in the meta descriptions does not count towards your search engine optimization; rather, it's there simply to exp... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The last seven days have been quite interesting, and fulfilling for me. In addition to the photography demo booth at MJSA Expo in New York City, I also presented three seminars/training classes, one of which was at MJSA this past Monday.
An interesting topic about marketing budgets and social media organically emerged during my training sessions last week, which I then added to my MJSA seminar at the last minute, and I want to share with y... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In yesterday's Nugget, I gave you 4 ways to prepare for ecommerce. Long before you get to the ecommerce state, you need to have a perfectly working website that reflects how your business operates and the customer service you provide. To help you achieve that today, I'm giving you 5 ways to improve your website.
It seems like only yesterday when it was thought that email addresses would become more important than telephone numbers, and now a website address is more important than both a telephone number and a physical address. A website is the most important representation of your business, yet most jewelers don't treat it that way, and many still view it as an online brochure that needs to be made once, and then forgotten about.
The local retail jeweler is losing a lot of business to the internet. The younger gen... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In preparation for this weekend's MJSA and JA Expo at the Jacob Javits center in NYC, I'm jumping way, way back to my fifth Daily Golden Nugget from July 30, 2010 about photography. I've written about photography many times since then, written product reviews about the VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Once upon a time, Facebook was the social network for college friends only. Then it was opened up to anyone to join. It was a free-for-all of friends keeping in touch without any special filtering getting in the way of seeing your friend's status updates.
When they let businesses join, there was a sudden surge of unwanted solicitations and plenty of users complaining that they were seeing too many business posts in their news feed. As is all things internet related, businesses viewed Facebook as t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to a very special #FridayFlopFix website evaluation. I call these weekly posts the "Flop Fix" because I specifically look for website problems, i.e. flops, for which I can offer improvement ideas, i.e. fixes, that everyone can learn from.
Well, this week is a doozy. I have been TRYING to publish this review every week since I ORIGINALLY wrote it back on December 16, 2015! Today is March 3, 2016; that's 11 weeks ago. There's a story behind this that should make you all cringe. Forewarning, I'm about to reveal some... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to the topic of domain name scams. Unfortunately, this throwback doesn't go back too far since I last wrote about this in June 2015, when I reported the exploits of iDNS and their Domain Name Expiration Notices.
A new scam came through my inbox this week that business owners should be aware of. I deem t... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I've often said that a website needs to provide customer service features that mimic the service that you offer in a store. Today, I'm going to specifically explain one of those feature you should strive for.
In-Store Customer Service
Think about the following scenarios for a moment.
Scenario 1: A customer is shopping in your store and tells your sales associate that they like the way you've recently remodeled the store.
Since the beginning of Google time, their search results page has been formatted as a two column layout. The wider left column showed the organic results and the thinner right column had the paid AdWords ads. Eventually, Google started including paid ads above and below the right column organic results.
Last month, I spent a lot of time analyzing the keyword data I collected during the 2015 holiday season. The information that surfaced was just the tip of the iceberg that I had, but it would take months to go through and write about it all, so I limited my analysis to the list this list:
The navigation of your website can help or hurt how easily people and search engines discover all your content. For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping back to the good topic of deep website linking from January 2011. With websites growing larger and larger every day, the concept explained in that old Nugget is more valid today than it was back then.
Entrepreneurs face many challenges when they first open their business. Frequently, business owners don't even know how to get started with registering their business on a local, county, state, or federal level. During my time as a business mentor with SCORE, I've been surprised by the number of aspiring entrepreneurs who come in asking for legal and accounting advice to help them get through their initial start-up peri... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I have this love/hate relationship with the words "branding" and "brand." When I became an entrepreneur and started studying different marketing approaches, I still remember my initial confusion of seeing those words used in connection with advertising. Up until then, I only knew of branding as a method of marking livestock, such as cows. The origin of the word brand, in fact, has Germanic origins relating to burning an identification mark into ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Bloggers have an unyielding passion to write and share their expertise with the world. Unlike a freelance writer for hire that is paid to create an editorial, most passionate bloggers write because they care greatly about the topic, and many do it for free. Those of us who write for free are often disappointed by posts that don't get the attention we wish they did; after all our blog posts are our children and we want our children to grow up and be successful and not unacknowledged misfits.
Last year, I wrote this analysis of Pandora's Q1 2015 financial results along with some ideas of how to deal with the inevitable sunsetting of the reseller agreement you have with them. For today's #ThrowbackThursday, I'm revisiting that topic with an analysis of Pandora's Q4 2015 fin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Bring up the topic of smartphones with your friends and the conversations will soon turn into a debate over the reasons why some think the Android OS phones are better than iOS phones. While the iOS phones are only available in a limited number of models from Apple, the Android OS is available on dozens of different models from dozens of different phone manufacturers.
Regardless what your personal smartphone choice is, knowing what your customers are using will help you design a ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'm going back to my own jWAG website tracking today to look at the top 10 Daily Golden Nuggets of all time, that are still relevant today. I see that some of the Nuggets with the highest reader count are out of date because Facebook and Google have changed things, and a few others are very similar so I'll have to do some consolidating.
Popular Screen Resolutions
1. The most popular screen resolutions change constantly as new mobile devices and laptops are introduced. I publish an updated version of screen resol... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Don't want to read? This week you can also watch the video recording of this review here!
This is the #FridayFlopFix website review edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. This week I've randomly chosen Santa Clarita, CA as the city to search for my review candidate. When I searched Google for the phrase "jewelers Santa Clarita, CA," I saw these three Google business listings:
In this #ThrowbackThursday nugget edition, I'm jumping back to a simple one from October 2010 about finding blogging topics.
Blogging has become the primary way of generating content for your website that search engines then use to better understand what your website is all about so they can correctly match you with the people searching for... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
A few weeks ago, I published a Nugget showing the recent trends in search engine organic usage. I've been tracking those statistics since 2010, and now I have enough information to compare mobile organic visits to desktop organic visits.
There's a trending website design idea that has its place, but that place is certainly not on your home page. Today, I'll explain what this website design trend is, what's good and bad about it, and how to use it.
Social media websites have changed the way we interact with website. Before Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, everyone thought that the internet was made up of individual web pages. But social networks g... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the special #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. This week, I'm on the hunt for a jewelry business in Bowling Green, KY that has a bad website. That's right, I'm looking for a flop that needs fixing. A quick search in Google for "jewelers Bowling Green, KY" lead me to a prime candidate for today: Goldsmith Jewelry Repair & Design with their website http://www.goldsmithjrd.com/
In this edition of #ThrowbackThursday, I'm jumping way back to September 2010 to the topic of landing page planning, although I didn't specifically call it landing page planning back then.
Planning your landing page long before you need to use it is an important part of a successful online marketing strategy, but before I get in too deep of how to help with the success, let me just briefly explain what a landing page is.
Throughout the past month, I analyzed different sets of keywords that I collected during the 2015 holiday season. Most of that research focused on overall analysis of the keyword data without breaking it down into the desktop, mobile, or tablet categories of devices. I chose that approach to save time, and quite frankly, so as not to bore everyone with too much similar information.
That said, in this edition, I am splitting apart the results to show you how the u... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the last Daily Golden Nugget where I'll dive deeply into specific keyword phrases I collected during the 2015 Holiday Season. I've presented a lot of information over the last 30 days and I could spend another month sifting through it, but this stuff does get boring after a while when there's no specific goal in mind. That's an important thing to remember; it's best to perform your keyword research when you have a specific goal in mind. Every time I grind through keyword data, I seem to lose an... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today I'm stepping back into 2015 to review the top 10 Daily Golden Nugget posts according to my Google Analytics account. Take a quick look to see if you remember them, and if you were able to put any of this information to use:
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week I seek out a website that needs some help, and I make improvement suggestions. Most of the time, I simply do a random Google search for a jewelry store, sometimes I come across a store randomly during work, and sometimes one of my friends sends me a website that perplexes them.
Welcome to the #ThrowbackThursday edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Today, I'm jumping back to one of my early posts about location based services and checking-in on Facebook.
It was all the rage during the summer of 2010 to have a check-in app on your smartphone check-in everywhere. Gowalla, Foursquare, Whrrl, and Loopt were competing heavily when Facebook tried getting into the game. Facebook's initial eff... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The difference between the singular and plural version of the same keyword phrase oftentimes represents a very specific consumer point of view. When digging into your website keyword data, it's very easy to arbitrarily group phrases together, but doing so will most likely lead you to the wrong conclusions, which translates to the wrong SEO advice, which leads to the wrong marketing advice, and eventually the wrong business direction.
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget, I'm going to examine more of the keyword data I collected during the 2015 holiday season, specifically the phrase "fine jewelry."
Retail jewelers and jewelry designers like to think of themselves as being in the "fine jewelry" industry, and they might even use that phrase in their advertising, but the truth is that the general public doesn't think about "fine jewelry;" they just view all jewelry as jewelry. Website research and search engine optimization activities ra... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
If technology and website design are not your cup of tea, you might want to skip this one. On the other hand, if you're a business owner who wants to understand the future of how to make your mobile customers happy, and want to learn some advanced concepts that will help with the future of customer detection and personalization, read on.
There are a lot of mobile devices out there. The data I analyzed while writing my latest VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the Friday Flop Fix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each Friday, I search for a website that isn't living up to its full potential, and I give suggestions on making it better; my fixes for their flops. I started my search today with the query "jewelers Rolla, MS" and received this as a result:
Welcome to #ThrowbackThursday edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. As I looked back over my recent data, I realized I haven't analyzed the top performing search engines for quite a long time. The last time I reported the top search engines results was back in May 2014.
I've collected a lot of data since then, and now I can even report on the differences between desktop and mobile search engine usage.
What I'm presenting today is a continuation of the 2015 Holiday Season keyword data I presented yesterday. Today, I'm reviewing my findings about search queries that contained the phrase "engagement rings."
What I have here today is similar, yet very different to the "engagement ring" information I presented yesterday. Notice the difference in the query phrase between today's plural version an... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Today I'm reviewing more keyword data that I collected during the 2015 Holiday Season, specifically some of my findings about search queries that contained the phrase "engagement ring."
Take note that I said the singular form of the phrase "engagement ring," rather than the plural form "engagement rings." Originally, I was going to review both variations in today's Daily Golden Nugget like I did for my VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I realize that over the last 12 months, I've spent most of my time talking about Google to the exclusion of the other search engines. Many SEO professionals, myself included, feel that if you can achieve high ranking in Google then you should easily be able to achieve high ranking in any search engine. It seems only natural since Google is the de facto search engine, right?
While Google might be the most popular search engine in the U.S., it's not the most popul... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
During my internet travels over the last few days, I came across the website for Goodman's Jewelers in Madison, WI. It caught my attention and I immediately decided to use it for today's #FridayFlopFix review. I hope to make a few suggestions that will help them improve how they use their site, and give you a few ideas on what to avoid on your own site. Let's dig in...
Not much has changed since I wrote that previous Nugget, but I should recap the basics.
What is a Bounce Rate?
I should explain what a bounce rate is for those of you not quite up to speed. This is the percentage of people who visit your website, look at one page, click nothing else, then either close their web browser or c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Mobile websites are important, but a growing trend of mobile website design has me a little worried that websites are accidentally turning back the clock to a time of poor usability.
The splash page was a very popular type of website home page design prior to 2010. A splash page was supposed to welcome a visitor to your site with a pretty image or an animation, and sometimes even music. Typically, there was a big arrow or the words "enter site" lik... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It all started six years ago; that's right, we're celebrating the jWAG's 6th anniversary today with the ambitious and philanthropic mission to surface our research about the internet and how the jewelry industry could best use technology to improve their business.
When my business partner and I launched the Jeweler Website Advisory Group (jWAG), we never expected it to blossom into the resource that is now referenced by so many people, even outside the jewe... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is the #FridayFlopFix edition of the Daily Golden Nugget. Each week, I look for a random retail jewelry store website that is using the wrong approach on their website, and I make suggestions for improvements. This week when I searched Google for "jewelers st. petersburg fl," I was given these results:
Now that we closed the book on the 2015 Holiday Season, it's time to review the results. Over the course of the holiday season, I captured more than 47,000 different keyword queries related to retail jeweler websites. I'm sifting through all that information to find something actionable for retail jewelers. I've been looking for things like a list of good keywords, or popular designer brands to carry, or even where to focus your energy over the next few month... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
With the 2015 Holiday Season at an end, let's take a look at some website tracking results from the Thanksgiving week through Christmas.
I have a lot of data to from various retail jeweler websites. The set of data I'm referencing below was recorded across retail jewelry websites that have been active with updating their website regularly over the last 12 months. These same websites are also mobile friendly. This includes a combination of retail jewelers and ecommerce sites. Remember, the results show... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET